First Amendment

Latest in First Amendment

First Amendment

Document: Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of Intelligence and Military Pre-Publication Review

On Tuesday, former intelligence and military officials filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government's pre-publication review process, which requires former personnel to submit public writing for review before publication. The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is available in full here and below.

 

Israel

Breaking Down the Combating BDS Act of 2019 and First Amendment Challenges to State Anti-BDS Laws

On Feb. 5, the Senate passed a package of Middle East policy bills, including the Combating BDS Act of 2019. The act, which would affect laws on the books in 26 states that prevent state and local governments from doing business with entities that boycott Israel, has reignited debate over whether lawmakers’ efforts to stymie the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel violate the First Amendment.

Aegis

Who Do You Sue? State and Platform Hybrid Power Over Online Speech

This essay closely examines the effect on free-expression rights when platforms such as Facebook or YouTube silence their users’ speech. The first part describes the often messy blend of government and private power behind many content removals, and discusses how the combination undermines users’ rights to challenge state action. The second part explores the legal minefield for users—or potentially, legislators—claiming a right to speak on major platforms.

First Amendment

Document: Fourth Circuit Says Virginia Politician’s Facebook Page is a ‘Public Forum’ and that First Amendment Prohibits Blocking Constituents

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Davidson v. Randall that a Virginia county official who blocked a constituent's access to the official’s Facebook page had violated the First Amendment. The court held that the official’s Facebook account amounted to a “public forum” and that blocking constituent access based on political viewpoints is unconstitutional. The full ruling is below.

Brief Reviews

The History of Do-It-Yourself Weapons and Explosives Manuals in America

Ann Larabee's 2015 book, The Wrong Hands: Popular Weapons Manuals and Their Historic Challenges to a Democratic Society (Oxford UP 2015), is a history of what Larabee terms "popular weapons manuals" - though the book is more centrally the history of do-it-yourself explosives manuals - when "dissenters move beyond firearm possession into the realm of high explosives." The book documents the history and evolu

Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

Free Speech in an Era of Self-Radicalization

In the social media era, there have been a number of terrorist attacks in America that, at least in part, could be attributed to “self-radicalization.” Self-radicalization refers to the phenomenon wherein individuals radicalize by consuming extremist literature but have few, if any, formal ties to any terrorist organization. Prominent examples of self-radicalization incidents include Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the shootings in Chattanooga and San Bernardino.

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